Infrastructure

04:44 PM
David Taylor, Micro Focus
David Taylor, Micro Focus
Commentary
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A New Approach to Compliance: Find It, Fix It, Test It

With so many compliance and system maintenance demands, banks need to adopt a new strategy to free up resources for innovation.

Through automation technology, businesses can create repeatable and effective steps for updating software when faced with the challenges outlined above. This approach will ensure efficiency at every key stage. As a result, banks are able to create a balance between maintenance activity and innovation projects, allowing development staff to focus their efforts more efficiently and fully understand and manage the impact of the changes being made.

Find It: Embrace change and boost development efficiency

Application understanding technology has been used for over a decade for generating major modernization and migration projects. This process has served as the backbone of many organization’s maintenance activities as well, including handling many of the change requests that have emerged through mandatory regulation. This technology can help business analysts’ work with the development team to identify and isolate those parts of the application portfolio that have been impacted. This will help to provide a ‘single source of truth’ for all stakeholders, regardless of their role or function. In addition, this increased insight can positively impact risk and productivity, offering support for more strategic IT planning and portfolio management initiatives. Identifying and understanding where to make changes is also critical. Application understanding technology provides developers with a list of priorities, focusing their attention on specifically impacted areas and dramatically reducing the learning curve associated with unfamiliar code. From there, the right technology enables developers to get the job done quickly and accurately, avoiding re-work and high-profile system failure. Fix It: Wipe out the skills gap

In order to close the current skills gap, organizations must rely on technology based on industry standards like Eclipse and Visual Studio, which will enable the broadest possible pool of developers to be highly productive in the shortest possible time, regardless of their background – COBOL or C#, mainframe or mobile. These environments bring huge productivity benefits through powerful editing, syntax correction and debugging features, as well as present new features in a way that is immediately familiar to new arrivals. Regardless of the required change or type of code, the task at hand becomes extremely straightforward.

Test It: Protect privacy through automated test data management

With effective test data management, organizations can protect sensitive data through various forms of automated masking. This process not only ensures that organizations can meet privacy regulation standards but removes the risk of personal information falling into the wrong hands when company property is stolen or misplaced. Some organizations go even further and use those same tools to reduce the size of their data sets while keeping full referential integrity. Through smaller, more precise, and secure test data sets, organizations can run their testing lifecycle in a shorter time, producing a higher quality result in a more cost efficient way.

Regulatory Change: A catalyst for innovation

Unless banks adapt their approach to regulation changes it will remain impossible for IT departments to service the needs of the compliance office and still satisfy the business innovation agenda. According to Forrester analyst, Tom Grant, by introducing appropriate technology and “automating ‘anything and everything that can conceivably automate,’ organizations can get ahead of the game – not just of compliance, but of their entire ‘lights on’ burden.” Through compliance opportunities, teams can make improvements to their productivity and also bring positive changes in the way things are done and operated in the future. It is not until these changes take place, that IT and CIOs can properly adhere to their companies’ needs and facilitate business growth within the organization.

David Taylor serves as the President of North America and India at Micro Focus, a provider of application development and testing solutions.

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Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Author
3/27/2014 | 8:46:45 PM
re: A New Approach to Compliance: Find It, Fix It, Test It
Yes, it is easy to say that a bank should do something this way, or revise its operations to do things that way. But budgets and reality sometimes get in the way. I agree the bottom-up approach works best, but it may not be as easy as it sounds.
james bryce-smith
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james bryce-smith,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/18/2014 | 2:56:17 PM
re: A New Approach to Compliance: Find It, Fix It, Test It
The problem for banks and other FS organisations is that since 2008, they have been caught between the rock of burgeoning regulatory requirements and the necessity to adhere and the hard place of keeping costs to a minimum. Compliance initiatives are a cost centre, spending on which comes straight off the bottom line. It stands to reason that banks need help in - as David Taylor says, developing a new bottom up approach to compliance - but they also need to be coming at it from a cost efficiency perspective. They have shareholders to answer to. It is clear therefore that they must automate their quality and compliance routines - but only as long as it is done in a way that stands up to frequent change. Otherwise the cost of maintaining the automation cancels out the benefits it delivers.
KBurger
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KBurger,
User Rank: Strategist
12/17/2013 | 9:08:36 PM
re: A New Approach to Compliance: Find It, Fix It, Test It
It's refreshing that your recommendations have to do with "do it right the first time" and improving processes and governance -- compliance isn't just about investing in new reporting and analytics systems. It would be over-simplistic to blame compliance challenges simply on "systems glitches" but clearly a lot of this back-office, maintenance & skills stuff is an under-appreciated aspect of the compliance process.
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